I just emailed the final version of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids to Basic Books. Without
EconLog, it never would have happened - as I explain in my Acknowledgements. Thanks again to readers and Liberty Fund.
P.S. The book will be in stores in time for Mother's Day (April 12, 2011 is the official release date), but you can pre-order here.
Many authors say they couldn't have written their books
without their families' inspiration and support.In my case, it's literally true.I was familiar with most of the facts in this
book years before I became a dad.But my
children inspired me to ponder what the facts mean.They transformed my
cool curiosity into an enthusiastic philosophy of parenting.And while my wife thinks I go too far, she
has always been happy to hear me out and work side by side to make our family
something special.I love you all.
My other great debt is to blogging.I'm a professor by trade, but the blogosphere
is my intellectual home.To me, academic
writing feels too narrow and timid.Blogs are the New World of the mind - the land where science meets
common sense, and logic meets life.For
years, I largely kept my parenting thoughts to myself because I lacked a forum
to develop them.Then I became a blogger
for EconLog.My second post was called
"The Selfish Reason to Have More Kids" - and before long, parenting was my
favorite topic.I owe the most to
Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, who gave me my start as a
guest blogger; Cafe Hayek's Don Boudreaux and Russ Roberts, who paved the way
for me to become an EconLog regular; my co-bloggers Arnold Kling and David
Henderson; Liberty Fund for hosting us; and our many thoughtful readers.I also thank the Mercatus Center and George
Mason University's economics department for every kind of support.
The Internet has made it child's play to get feedback from
all over the world.Omar Al-Ubaydli, Jim Bennett,
David Bernstein, Peter Boettke, Sara Bumgarner, Corina Caplan, David Cesarini,
Tyler Cowen, Bill Dickens, Brian Doherty, David Friedman, Patri Friedman,
Joshua Gans, Daniel Gilbert, Zachary Gochenour, David Gordon, Ananda Gupta, Robin
Hanson, Tim Harford, Judith Harris, Teresa Hartford, Lisa Hill-Corley, Steve
Horwitz, Garett Jones, Tim Kane, Steve Landsburg, Daniel Lurker, Greg Mankiw, Robert
Plomin, Marta Podemska, David Romer, Charles Rowley, Amy Schneider, Jim
Schneider, Lenore Skenazy, Ilya Somin, Ed Stringham, Tim Sullivan, Peter Twieg,
Matt Zwolinski, and anonymous reviewers all responded to drafts.It would have been hard to improve without
them.I'm extra grateful to Alex Tabarrok and Tim
Harford for organizational insight, Robert Plomin for expert reassurance, Bill
Dickens and Judith Harris for expert criticism, David Gordon for sagely
proof-reading, and Matt Zwolinski for the subtitle.
No matter how far the Internet develops, however, it will
never replace lunch.When a new idea
strikes me, I yearn to defend it face-to-face over a meal.Luckily, I have many heroic colleagues who
habitually indulge me, especially Robin Hanson, Garett Jones, John Nye, and of
course Tyler and Alex.
Still, my deepest intellectual debts are to thinkers I see
less often, if at all.Sheldon Richman
piqued my interest in population issues almost twenty years ago when he ran the
Cato Institute's summer interns program.Judith Harris' The Nurture
Assumption awoke me from my dogmatic slumbers on the nature-nurture
question - and convinced me that the issue was anything but academic.Bill Dickens was the first economist I knew
who took human genetics seriously - and always knew what he was talking
about.Lenore Skenazy's Free-Range Kids demonstrated how wise
and beautifully written a parenting book could be.My greatest thanks, though, go to the late
Julian Simon, who opened my eyes to the blessings of population.Out of all the people I'll never meet, I miss
him the most.